Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spirit of the Dance

Tal and I went to see Spirit of the Dance last night. I've always wanted to see Riverdance or Lord of the Dance, but when Lord of the Dance had come to Israel previously, tickets were too expensive. Usually tickets for SotD are too expensive as well, but I snagged us two tickets on Groupon, a site I've now used many times.

I was expecting SotD to be much like RD or LotD, and it was mostly. But SotD also adds Flamenco and some American street dancing, as well as dance tunes stolen from classic musicals, like "I've Got Rhythm" and "Can Can". It was highly inspiring - not in the sense that I now want to devote my life to dancing, but in the sense that it's great to see professional performers in their art at the top of their game. They danced beautifully, and the sets and lighting were also nice. I was carried away for two hours. The hand dancing at the end was particularly entertaining.

There were some oddities with the performance, however.

Regarding the costuming, on two occasions the women were wearing a lot less then the men for no apparent reason (it didn't fit the scene). At one point they borrowed costumes from what looked like 1920s MGM musicals, with the big fat white feather fans and everything. Weird. I was expecting something more modern and more Irish the whole way through.

The location and organization of the event, Hangar 11 in Port Tel Aviv, was somewhat a balagan (big mess). The lines to pick up your tickets were amorphous at best, and they rummaged through piles of pre-written envelopes for your tickets. The envelopes started alphabetically sorted, but that didn't last long. Seats were pre-assigned. They could have simply handed out tickets as they went to people in exchange for proof of purchase, without the alphabetizing and without the pre-assignment.

There was a series of waiting rooms to get into the place: first at the gate, then at the entrance to a tent like structure, then to the building, and then to walk around the stadium-like stands (you entered from the back of the stands and then turned around to climb up to your seats if you were seated in the stands). There were also many rows of seats in front of the stands, stretching out to the stage. The seats between the stands and the stage had no numbers or row numbers. The seats in the stands had seat numbers but the row numbers were printed on the stairs between two rows, so no one knew whether the "32" written on the stairs referred to the row of seats in front of it or just past it. Everyone muddled with their seats, right up until the lights went down.

I thought Stomp was better, but this was still a lovely event, one I wish I could repeat more often.

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